Since we've left Bimini, we've been island hopping the Berry Islands. Life on a boat has proven to be quite tranquil as well as really simple. Oddly it seems there is not much to do, but days and hours are filled with the simplest tasks. I wake up, tidy the boat, fix breakfast, then shortly after, take the dinghy in and explore. We try and forage for food, whether it's spearfishing or just snorkelling around looking for conch. Then we come back, fix lunch, read, write, clean our daily catch, lay in the hammock, think about what's for supper. Funnily enough, not one moment has been boring. Getting back to the basics and just enjoying the littlest things.
Every island thus far has been remarkable, with each island looking almost the same, low lying with a few trees, but each have also held slight differences that make each of them special and fun to explore. What they all have shared has been how remote they are. The whole time in the Berrys, we only saw a handful of boats.
Our first couple of days, we anchored in Frazier's Hog Cay, which I've considered the cay with all the conch. Taking the dinghy and landing in a small stretch of beach, we started to snorkel and discovered that where we were, there was an abundance of conch. It was pretty shallow where we found them, and our first day was filled with conch salad and fried conch (I will post a separate blog as to how to clean them). The batter for the conch that Frank came up with was really simple, with the conch being tenderized with a hammer, lightly battered in flour and ginger powder. Right before he drops it in peanut oil, he flavors it with pieces of fresh ginger, the deep fried pieces of ginger go really well with the conch.
|First homemade conch salad|
We spent 2 days here enjoying being alone and just dinghying around. One of stretches of beach was pretty cool as it was covered in blackened conch shells, which from afar looked like black rocks. It reminded me of a graveyard for conch. One of the days, just as Frank had gotten off the dinghy and swam ashore, I was about to start my daily hunt for food, when just as I stuck my head in, I spot a 5 ft shark. It took a second for my brain to register it as I was only in 3 ft of water. Never in my life have I swam so fast screaming to Frank, "SHARK! SHARK!" As I was racing to the dinghy, all I could hear was the muffled sound of Frank yelling at me, "STOP SPLASHING! YOU'RE GOING TO ATTRACT HIM!" I'm sure it was a funny sight to Frank as all he saw was just a flash of tan and black, with water splashing all around, and then me struggling to climb back into the dinghy, pulling myself up as quickly as I could, with my legs dangling in the air, trying not to touch the water for the fear of losing a limb. When I got back in the boat, I had to dinghy as close to shore as possible without running aground, because at this point, there was no way Frank was getting in the water. Since then, we have seen a shark 3 other times we've gone in. I find that it's usually earlier in the evening, so I make it a point to not go in the water at that time. I also look around like a madman now when I snorkel because being surprised by them is no fun either.